As a landlord, you need to collect information about your tenants – but what sort of information can you ask for, and how do you make sure you use that information responsibly?
Landlords and Property Managers must comply with the Privacy Act 2020 when collecting and using tenant information.
Collect only what you need.
Ask yourself, what information do I need for this purpose?
- When arranging property viewings, you’ll need to collect names and contact details to follow up after the viewing and for COVID-19 contact tracing purposes.
- When selecting preferred applicants, you may need proof of identity, referees & consent to contact them, as well as consent for a credit report & criminal record check.
- To confirm that applicants are suitable tenants, more information is needed. This may include, a credit report and criminal check, evidence of ability to pay rent (i.e. payslip or proof of previous rental payments).
It’s important to tell applicants why you are collecting information, how it will be used, who will hold the information, and who will have access to it.
You do not need to collect:
- Evidence of spending habits.
- Sex, sexual orientation, relationship or family status.
- Political opinion or religious beliefs.
- Age (other than asking if the applicant is over 18).
Keep it Secure.
It’s important to look after your applicant’s information. Only people authorized to see this data should have access to it.
Tenants can request to see the information you hold.
Tenants have the right to request access to the information you hold about them and to request for incorrect information to be corrected.
Inquiries must be responded to promptly (no later than 20 working days after the request is received). You must provide what the tenant has asked for unless there is a legitimate reason for withholding this information.
Want to know more?
Visit the Office of the Privacy Commissioner website here for more information on privacy information in the rental sector. Further information about pre-tenancy applications is available on the tenancy.govt website.